Voter registration in NCR Plus, other MECQ areas remain suspended — Comelec

Robie de Guzman   •   May 3, 2021   •   322

MANILA, Philippines — The voter registration and voter’s certification remain suspended in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus and other areas under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), the Commission on Elections (Comelec) announced.

In an advisory on Sunday, Comelec said the voter registration and the issuance of voter’s certification in the NCR Plus remain suspended from May 1 to 14.

The National Capital Region and nearby provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, and Laguna – collectively called NCR Plus – are under extended MECQ until May 14.

The areas of Santiago City in Isabela, Abra, and Quirino were placed under MECQ until May 31.

Comelec said voter registration and the issuance of voter’s certification will also be suspended in the same period.

“For the duration of the MECQ in NCR Plus and other areas, the Comelec Office for Overseas Voting (OFOV) in Intramuros, Manila will be attending exclusively to voter registration applicants with urgent travel needs,” the poll body said.

The poll body further said that voter registration and issuance of voter’s certification in the rest of the country under general community quarantine or modified GCQ will be open from Mondays to Thursdays.

COMELEC said OFOV may be reached via its official social media account, email address, and contact numbers +639050341558 or +639518759882.

Election watchdog says COC online filing is good, but fears rise of vote-buying via e-transfer apps

Maris Federez   •   June 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is mulling over online filing of certificates of candidacy for the coming elections after Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez said he will file a bill regarding this amid the pandemic.

Election watchdog, Kontra Daya, said the online filing of COCs is a good alternative, but added that authorities should guarantee the public that transparency will be preserved.

“Dapat pag-aralan  itong panukala na ito may bentahe naman kasi kung gawin ito online kasi yung visual spectable ng parada, pag pumunta ka sa tapat ng Comelec office ay mawawala at saka may risk kasi ng superspreader,” said Danilo Arao, Kontra Daya convener.

“Yung online na pagpa-file sana naman ay magkaroon mekanismo na parang transparent pa rin ‘yong proseso nito. Ang anomang datos na i-fill out sana online sana maging readily available yan sa publiko,” he added.

Kontra Daya also underscored the importance of providing access to independent groups allowing them to monitor and scrutinize pertinent data in the COC form, such as names, party affiliation, and the candidate’s desired position, for  purposes of transparency.

Arao also urges lawmakers to consider the status of the country’s internet connection in their deliberation on the proposed online filing of COCs, recommending a hybrid system wherein areas that have strong internet connection adopt the online filing, while those that have poor connectivity retain the face-to-face filing.

“Sana may paraan yung Comelec na makapagbigay ng mga kiosk o ng anomang mekanismo para atleast kung kinakailangan online yung submission ay may ganung mekanismo pa rin sa mga nagnanais na tumakbo pero walang internet,” he said.

Meanwhile, the group fears that possible vote-buying might still take place, specifically with the use of various electronic transfer applications.

They said gathering evidence on such practices is difficult especially when face accounts are used by the sender and the receiver.

The group also appeals to the public not to compromise their principle and to never let themselves fall prey to vote-buying.

“Yung susing salig talaga dito ay yung voter education ito ‘yong parati naming ginagawa kaya kapag may nag-iimbita sa amin magbigay ng seminar o mga workshop hinggil sa eleksyon  sa mga election hindi po talaga kami tumatanggi,” Arao said. —/mbmf (with details from Dante Amento)

Duterte extends GCQ with some restrictions in NCR, Bulacan

Maris Federez   •   June 14, 2021

 MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the extension of the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) classification of the National Capital Region and Bulacan from June 16 to June 30, 2021.

The president made the announcement during his pre-recorded Talk to the Nation which was aired on Monday night (June 14).

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, in a statement, said the extension of GCQ in Metro Manila and Bulacan comes with some restrictions.

Roque also said that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) also placed the provinces of Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal in Region 4-A under GCQ with heightened restrictions from June 16 to June 30.

Other areas under GCQ are Baguio City, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Abra, and Benguet in the Cordillera Administrative Region; Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, and Quirino in Region 2; Batangas and Quezon in Region 4-A; Iligan City in Region 10; Davao del Norte in Region 11; General Santos City, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, Cotabato, and South Cotabato in Region 12; and Lanao del Sur and Cotabato City in BARMM, the statement said.

Meanwhile, areas that shall be placed under the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) from June 16 to June 30 are the City of Santiago and Cagayan in Region 2; Apayao and Ifugao in the Cordillera Administrative Region; Bataan in Region 3; Lucena City in Region4-A; Puerto Princesa in Region 4-B; Naga City in Region 5; and Iloilo City and Iloilo in Region 6.

Other areas under MECQ are Negros Oriental in Region 7; Zamboanga City, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Sur, and Zamboanga del Norte in Region 9; Cagayan de Oro City in Region 10; Davao City in Region 11; and Butuan City, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, and Surigao del Sur in CARAGA.

According to the palace official, the rest of the country shall be placed under Modified General Community Quarantine on the aforementioned dates.

“On another matter, the President approved the extension of travel restrictions imposed upon India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, United Arab Emirates, and Oman starting June 16 to June 30, 2021,” Roque said.

 

COMELEC to launch mobile registration app on June 15

Robie de Guzman   •   June 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – A mobile application that aims to streamline the voter registration process will be launched on Tuesday, June 15, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) said Monday.

In a statement, COMELEC said the launching of the Mobile Registration Form App will be held in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.

The mobile app can be accessed with any smartphone even when offline, the poll body said.

“The launch of the mobile app is very timely in the face of mobility restrictions brought about by COVID-19, because you will only need a smartphone to accomplish the form. This will save time, effort and money that will otherwise be spent on going to a computer shop to download and print the form, or getting the form at the local COMELEC to fill it out manually,” said COMELEC Commissioner Marlon Casquejo, who conceptualized the project.

“A QR Code is generated upon successful accomplishment of the form. You must save the QR Code on your smartphone, and afterwards, you may visit your local COMELEC office to have your QR Code scanned and your biometrics taken,” he added.

The Mobile Registration Form App is downloadable through the link, bit.ly/MobileFormApp. It can also be shared offline from one Android smartphone to another through SHAREit or any other file-sharing application.

Once installed, the user may already apply for voter registration without need for internet connectivity.

COMELEC said that the app was rolled out in select pilot areas at the start of June.

“It is currently being implemented in more than 500 cities and municipalities nationwide, including National Capital Region (NCR), Cebu City and Davao City,” it added.

Steps on using the Mobile Registration Form App:

  • Open the mobile app, and tap “Get Started”
  • Select the desired type of application and tap “Proceed”
  • Input all the necessary personal information
  • Confirm your personal information by ticking the checkbox
  • Tap “Generate QR Code” and “Save” to save it in your phone gallery
  • Bring a valid ID upon visiting your local COMELEC office for your QR Code scanning.

“For any question or clarification about the mobile app, our Voter Care Center hotlines on mobile (+63 927 5595 926), Facebook (facebook.com/comelec.ph) and Twitter (twitter.com/COMELEC) are open to the public,” Spokesperson James Jimenez said.

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